A real sense of sharing

November 1, 2017 - 12:00am -- Living City

A real sense of sharing
Chicken with lentils, a delicious meal for all occasions

By Mary Gateshill

We recently had our entire house painted. The painter was a very efficient young man, and the results of his labor were great. He planned well, working on a number of rooms at the same time — while the ceiling dried in one room he glossed another, and so on.

So our house has been less tidy than usual, and my observation is that the disorder in the house somehow impacts on life in the house. I was telling a doctor friend of ours that we have even had a few meals standing up — he told us it’s healthier to eat standing than sitting! I think I need to do my own research on this...

During the course of a year we eat in many different ways: fast food served on paper and plastic, buffets — a form of nutritional treasure hunt, TV dinners — relaxed but hazardous, breakfast...

On one hand, fundamentally each of those events is the same. It is a time to meet the body’s need for nourishment, but each of the settings is so different. Maybe we have had the experience of being presented with a delicious meal and not enjoying it due to the company we were with or the atmosphere of a place. A great dining experience can be made when there is a real sense of shared occasion or celebration.

Bringing people together can be a gift for all, to put the brakes on the rest of the busy day and spend time as a group. Here’s a recipe for chicken with lentils; an easy meal to make that tastes delicious.


Chicken with lentils (serves 4–5)


  • 8 chicken thighs (skin on)

  • Oil for frying

  • Salt and pepper

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric

  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin

  • ¼ cup red lentils, rinsed

  • 1 onion chopped

  • 1 can of good quality chopped tomatoes

  • 2 cups hot chicken stock

  • Smoked sweet paprika


Heat your oven to 370 degrees. Fry the onion gently in a little oil with the turmeric until softened. Season the underside of the chicken pieces. Place the chicken skin side down and fry until skin is crisp. Remove from pan and set aside. Add the lentils and cumin to the pan and cook until the lentils are well heated. Add the tomatoes and hot chicken stock. Keep on heat until hot. Add the chicken, skin side up. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and place in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes until lentils are tender. Serve with colorful vegetables.

First published in New City, London.


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